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Customer Review

107 of 122 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the book I expected, 10 Jun 2007
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This review is from: Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book based on the previous, glowing reviews and I'm hugely disappointed. It's very short compared to similar books in this genre, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and has a few interesting plot ideas, but the writing is amateurish, the plot lines very simple, and the science ancient. Worst of all, it's incredibly repetitive and the characters are cardboard -- they are supposed to be military personnel, but act and think more like school teachers.

The idea is that, in some distant future, a massive fleet of ships is attempting a final (and so stupid a 5-year old could see the flaws) strategy to wipe out their long term enemy at the enemy's home world. Unfortunately, the whole thing is a trap, and the story begins with the fleet making a rather obvious escape to fight another day. They have to make their way back to earth led by the main character who, somehow, has been found after surviving 100 years in an escape pod. Luckily for the fleet, this particular man hasn't lost the common sense that everyone else clearly lacks. I liked the main character, but the writer draws his thought as if he's more of a manager at Tesco than a star ship captain. His chatty relationship with his second in command suggests a romantic relationship in the next book -- just guessing, but, as I said, the plot is fairly transparent.

Apart from some interesting political problems for the fleet's new leader, the rest of the book is a far too simple story of how the fleet escapes, jumps to two star systems and fights a minor battle against its pursuers. By the final battle, the writing has improved slightly, but even then it's hard to believe anyone would have to command a fleet to such stupid people. Perhaps things improve in the next book.

The best part of the book is that I'm pretty sure a young teenager would find it quite good. There's enough action and the majority of characters are drawn like something from Blue Peter anyway.

The worst part of the book is the author's lack of imagination. He clearly thinks that the distances involved in space are so amazing that he has to mention it on almost every page. Again and again and again we have to be reminded that information is actually hours or minutes out of date because it took so long to get here. Yeah, I know, I got it the first time you mentioned it and still get it the 100th time too!

I finished the book, so it's not the worst of the worst, but it's not the level you'd expect for a true sci-fi audience. Great to give to a nephew or niece, but for serious space strategy fans, there's much better stuff out there.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Nov 2010 15:14:01 GMT
j brooman says:
I have to disagree, what you have here is a cinematic read. I havnt read a book in a day for years, I found I could not put it down. It does have an old school feel about it,(which I did Like) it reminds me a little of starship trooper by Robert Heinlein. Sure there are faults you can pick at if you really want to, or you if your a fan of military space opera just enjoy a cracking good read. Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, Book 1)

Posted on 7 Jan 2012 15:23:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jan 2012 15:23:34 GMT
I also have to disagree, yes there are certain cliches like the captain just happening to be in the vicinity of the fleet BUT its a story, the author can make these things happen because its a book,,,any book can be turned to mush if you pick at it.
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Roy Larke
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Location: UK

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